I mentioned this on Twitter and in the context of the ACM’s Code 2018 effort. but why is the ACM inviting or promoting a webinar by a person who not only has limited background in computing ethics but has, on several occassions in both spoken and written word, done things that go against both the current ACM code of ethics as well as the planned revisions that are currently in Draft 3?
In 2014, he wrote a blog post describing not one, not two, but three instances where he made remarks that were construed as sexist by listeners and he had to apologize. It seems like the apologies were never sincere, since there was no change in behavior.
In the summer of 2017, he wrote two blog posts here and here expressing support for the Google engineer fired for writing a memo against Google’s diversity programs. In a later blog post, not only does he express support for Damore, but also opposes the disinviting of Doug Crockford from a conference following sexist remarks.
There’s also some controversy surrounding his recent book, Clean Architecture: see Martin’s blog post here. And this isn’t even the first time someone has had a problem with content of a book. Unlike the personal blog posts and speaking events, this is something that has gone through review and edit processes.
The current ACM Code of Ethics requires that members respect diversity (1.1), be fair and not discriminate (1.4), and uphold and promote these principles (4.1). If an individual is promoted by the ACM, should they not be held to these same standards?
Martin has a great deal of experience and contributions in the agile methods and software design and architecture. Even if he was invited to speak on one of these topics, I would be raising these same concerns. But he’s being invited to speak about ethics and behavior, even though the ACM already has a code of behavior for members (and has co-written another with the IEEE-CS), a topic that he does not live up to based on past actions.
I believe someone from the ACM should address this and explain why someone with a past of behavior that goes against ACM standards is being promoted by the ACM.